Cat owners have been issued an urgent warning over Easter Bank Holiday weekend when Brits will be enjoying copious amounts of chocolate.

Easter eggs could be deadly to a cat and chocolate should be kept out of reach of pets, senior vets have warned.

Just two grams of chocolate - about the size of a small chunk or a few chocolate buttons - could be toxic to our feline friends, Cats Protection’s Central Veterinary Officer Sarah Elliott cautioned.

She said: “Eating even a small amount of chocolate could raise a cat’s heart rate and increase loss of bodily fluids, both of which could be fatal.

“Caffeine in chocolate can affect the central nervous system and cause muscle twitching, but the main danger is theobromine.

"Cats can’t metabolise the stimulant and diuretic as well as humans so it remains in their bloodstream for longer and quickly builds to dangerous levels.”

Why it's important dogs also avoid chocolate this easter

Sarah urged safety at Easter with its shiny temptation of foil-wrapped chocolate.

She warned: “Cats are curious creatures so it’s important to keep chocolate out of their reach.

“By taking a few simple precautions we can all tuck into our favourite chocolate while making sure our cats remain happy, healthy and safe.”

Signs you cat has been poisoned by chocolate

Signs of poisoning can be seen within 30 minutes to two hours after ingesting the chocolate and can include vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive urination, irregular heartbeat and seizures.

Sarah said: “The severity of these symptoms will depend on your cat’s weight and how much chocolate they have eaten, but if you believe your cat has eaten any chocolate you should contact your vet straight away. Do not wait for the symptoms to appear before seeking help.”

Cat owners shouldn’t confuse curiosity in their own treat as a cat’s craving for chocolate. Unlike dogs, a cat’s tongue cannot detect sweetness from sugar and it is more likely the cat is just curious or attracted to the fat content of food made for humans.

Chocolate is just one food that poses a risk to cats. Coffee, nuts, grapes, garlic and coconut water can cause severe vomiting, diarrhoea or dehydration. Even milk and cheese can bring on sickness and digestive problems as many cats are lactose intolerant.

For advice on what a cat should eat visit the Cats Protection website.